ASEAN sec-gen confident in security for Phuket meetings

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The secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) yesterday said he was confident in the security measures provided by Thai authorities for ASEAN meetings.

ASEAN secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan said during a press briefing in Phuket that Thailand was ready to host the 42nd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM), Post Ministerial Conferences (PMC) and the 16th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), scheduled for July 19-23, in the southern resort.

“I can assure you all that Thailand’s preparation on the security arrangements is superb. I am most confident that the Meetings will proceed without disruption”, Dr.Surin told the press.

Dr. Surin disclosed that the ASEAN ministers will arrive in Thailand today while the ministers from countries in the wider Asia-Pacific region will arrive in the island province for the ARF meeting on Wednesday, July 22.

He said the ministers from all 27 countries are satisfied with the security measures provided by the Thai security agencies and confident that this will lead to a positive outcome for the negotiations on trade and investment between ASEAN and its dialogue partners.

As a measure to fully ensure the security for ASEAN events, Thailand’s Cabinet on July 9 acted to activate the country’s Internal Security Act in the southern resort of Phuket during the period from July 10 to 24.
The Cabinet’s decision to impose the security law was aimed at preventing a similar disruption of two previous meetings by a group of protesters, called the “United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship” (UDD).

On April 11, the UDD protesters stormed into a hotel in Thailand’s eastern resort of Pattaya where the ASEAN meetings were to be held, forcing Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva to cancel the meetings immediately.

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